County Fair Caramel Apple Bars
Caramel and apple is always a winning combination. These bars, cut in 3-inch squares and topped with ice cream, make a delicious plated dessert. Cut smaller, they pack nicely in your lunchbox.
- 1 cup (16-tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar or glazing sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup nut flour (See "tips", below.)
- 1 large egg
- 5 cups tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced, then chopped (6 to 7 apples)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons boiled cider, or substitute an additional 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup caramel, from a block, or about 30 caramel candies
- 2 1/2 tablespoons milk or cream
Preparation time 35mins
Cooking time 90mins
Adapted from kingarthurflour.com
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch pan or 10 x 10-inch bun pan.
To make the crust: Beat together the butter, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, sugars, and vanilla until smooth. Add the flours, mixing until crumbly. Set aside half the mixture.
Add the egg to the remainder, beating to combine.
Press the crust with egg into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the crust for 17 minutes, until it's barely starting to brown around the edges. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.
To make the filling: Combine the apples with the remaining filling ingredients, and distribute over the crust. Spread the reserved crust mixture over the apples.
Bake the bars for 45 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and after 15 minutes cut them into squares, leaving them in the pan.
Cool completely, then place the bars on a rack set over a piece of parchment.
To make the topping: Place the caramel and milk in a microwave-safe measuring cup, and heat until the caramel is very soft. Stir (reheating if necessary) until the mixture is smooth and pourable. Drizzle it over the bars.
Store at room temperature for several days or freeze for up to a month.
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